Educating the elite and doing sod all for the rest…

I’ve been in contact with a few home educating friends lately who have teens doing such entrepreneurial projects. Projects that give them purpose, that inspire and motivate them, with possibilities they could take forward in the future. Like little business. Writing and networking on the Web. As well as pulling in a few qualifications alongside.

And I can’t help thinking that these kids will make a success of their lives because they have so many diverse ideas and valuable skills gained from being in a home educating environment. Because while you’re at home you’re living life and living life gives you life skills and that’s what they’ll need for their future in today’s economic climate.

Schools aren’t big on ideas and life skills – not if they can’t be tested. Schools have become just too outdated in the way they educate; they’re still educating like they did when schooling began.

When schooling began, and information was scarce and academic skills were confined to an elite few, school was a place where you could transform your life with knowledge and ideas.

Now it seems a place that conforms your life into a no-ideas mediocrity. Except for the privileged few of course.

In this new age of no jobs I’m not sure how this is going to help.

Kids are going to have to rise above mediocrity. They’re going to have to have ideas in order to generate an income. They are going to have to think beyond the standardised boxes schools try to keep them in through grade obsession. Think flexibly and be adaptable, not stay in one tight and narrow framework like schools con them to do.

What we need to do is stop mass producing kids towards one outcome – mostly political i.e. for grades and league tables. And start thinking about how best to educate them to be able to live their lives in thoughtful, purposeful and independent ways, whatever form, that will enable them to support themselves, maybe create businesses, find incomes through a diversity of routes rather than a single track. Because the single track to single job prospect looks a bit bleak.

Politicians don’t seem to get the fact that they are just an elite few with elite lives. Yet they’re still making educational policies which make them even more elite whilst doing sod all for the rest.

The MAJORITY of the population leads lives that are very, very different from elite, which are full of challenges and mountainous obstacles and for some enormous poverty and non-employment.

What’s the good of more grades in that scenario?

Schools need to stop selling grades like they were a magic bullet. And start educating for life skills and ideas.

We once needed grades to prove we had knowledge and get us a job. Now kids need ideas to help them overcome the biggest challenge they’ll ever have to face; possibly no job!

What’s the best way to educate for that?

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12 thoughts on “Educating the elite and doing sod all for the rest…

  1. I read your post with interest especially as I am a secondary school teacher. I can see how home-schooling can broaden a child’s horizons and how teaching can be much quicker and more flexible. However, I do think that children can learn many things from interacting with a wide range of peers at school.

    • Great to hear your views – thanks for posting. I agree with you; children learn many things from interacting with a wide range of peers … but we don’t need the school bit! Home educated children interact with a far wider range of people than is commonly known, not only peers, but people of all ages from all walks of life. And I think they learn the most from people who are older who have a greater experience than their peers do! But everyone contributes something, don’t they! Thanks again.

  2. After years of mulling I recently took the plunge into the world of unschooling. Early days yet, but every day that passes brings me more dismay at the current school system. Surely it has to properly change at some point?

    • Thanks for dropping by Rosie and commenting. We found the more we home educated the more bizarre the schooling system appeared to be. I would like to think it will change, but until politicians stop obsessing about measuring our kids as if they were an industrial commodity and parents stop turning a blind eye as long as their children are ‘minded’ I’m not sure the changes will be for the better. Maybe if enough parents HE in protest of the system and show how other approaches develop children’s education successfully, the powers that be will learn from us! Great to hear from you!

  3. Absolutely spot on critique of the current system complete with viable alternatives for meaningful life learning. Inspired post!

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